On Thursday, Drugs Controller General Dr VG Somani made a statement in an event that this new year will be happy “with something in hand and that’s what I can hint at.”With the beginning of new year 2021 in India, health experts are likely to conduct a meeting today and applications for the emergency use approval of COVID-19 vaccines will be taken up. Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India (SII), and Pfizer all have filed applications with the government appointed panel of health experts for approval of the Coronavirus vaccines made by them. When the vaccines are cleared by the expert panel, those applications will go to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in order to get a final go-ahead and vaccine administration can start in India.
Now this meeting comes ahead of a dry run for vaccinations in all states. On Thursday, Drugs Controller General Dr VG Somani made a statement in an event that this new year will be happy “with something in hand and that’s what I can hint at.” Since the vaccine candidates are waiting for approval, it is likely that three vaccines might get an approval and the vaccination drive can be started in India.
To be sure, Serum Institute is producing the vaccine ‘Covishield’ which has been developed jointly by Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca. Apart from this, India pharma major Bharat Biotech has also partnered the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to develop indegenous Coronavirus vaccine- Covaxin. Presentations on these vaccines have been made before the panel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Pfizer has sought some more time to submit complete data regarding their vaccine. It is to note that Pfizer has already received approval across the UK and vaccine administration has started.
Given the much needed approvals, Indian government can also start administering Coronavirus vaccine shots as soon as this month. As per a report by PTI, Somani said the panel gave permissions to fast-track approval process given the current state of pandemic in the country. Infact, parallel phase one and phase two trials were allowed without waiting for complete data but Somani has ensured the safety or efficacy of the data has not been compromised.
SII, which is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has produced around 50 million doses of Covishield so far and is expected to scale it up to 100 million by March this year.
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